Selected Washington Post's Color of Money, Book of the Month.

Looking for a housemate? Wondering if sharing housing is for you? People who share housing save thousands of dollars a year, have company (or not depending on what is wanted) and get help with the tasks of maintaining a home. It's a sensible solution to the high cost of housing. It's a good idea for people who for various reasons are socially isolated. It's a boon for older people for whom once-easy tasks are difficult. The key is finding a good match.

Sharing Housing, A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates contains everything you need to know to find and keep YOUR good housemate.

This book guides you from the initial idea, "maybe I should have a housemate" to actually living with one. The step-by-step process helps you consider what you need to have in a housemate, where to advertise, how to conduct the housemate interviews and how to manage the daily living together.

It is for anyone for whom sharing housing is a good idea. For instance:

  • A retiree in a large house
  • A twentysomething moving for graduate school
  • A homeowner with extra space
  • A family man moving for a job

Here's what people say about the book

“For the past sixty years, Americans have concentrated on building bigger houses farther apart from each other. It’s been environmentally ruinous, and it’s made us kind of lonely. Here’s a good practical antidote!”

- Bill McKibben, author, environmentalist, and educator

“Annamarie does a masterful job of guiding a person through the difficult task of finding and keeping a roommate—very even-handed in her portrayal of the options one has in each phase of the process. I think this book will become a ‘must have’ in the years ahead as people want to or are forced to find ways to conserve resources, space, and emotional energy!”

-Annette Leahy Maggitti,Program Director, St. Ambrose Homesharing

"This book is incredibly helpful to anyone thinking of living with housemates.

It reviews all the details you could possibly use when thinking of living with other adults at any phase of your life. From the thinking of how to advertise for the right person, to sample ads which would let you screen for suitable people, Pluhar leaves no stone unturned in thinking of tips for someone who is new to living with strangers. She also manages to make a completely readable compendium of guidelines for living together which might be extremely useful if someone had little experience in living in a shared home. Often, I see people who are not sure why their joint living arrangements have failed...or why others consider them "difficult" to live with.

This book makes clear what works, and Pluhar has the experience to make her teaching points in a completely practical and gentle way. She has taken a topic, which has great relevance in our world where sharing will have to become more usual, and made it lucid and readable."

-Jacqueline Olds MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
Co-author of The Lonely American: Drifting Apart in the 21st Century


"I have a roommate now! I had completely dismissed the idea of having a roommate..the idea of sharing my living space totally turned me off.. The book helped me think of the qualities in a roommate that would work for me..three months later, we getting along very well. I am surprised. If not for the book, I would not have opened my mind to houses haring as a possibility for me. Great book, highly recommended for someone on the fence about getting a housemate." -Suzanne Bansley, Vermont (Blog post on her experience.)

"Thanks to Annamarie, I found the perfect housemate.  I read the book she wrote and then used her as a resource.  The ad I posted in Craig's list garnered a number of compliments and the people that answered were all 'close' to what I was looking for.  One person I interviewed (using Annamarie's suggestions again) stood out as a really good match.  Since he moved in, it's been a pleasure to share my house with him." - Nancy Shepard


"We know the question is coming ahead of time, even before the hands go up. In every single one of our My House Our House presentations about cooperative householding, someone in the audience always asks the essential question: How do you find the right housemates? We’ve got some good short answers to offer on the spot, but thank goodness we also have an ace in the hole, Annamarie Pluhar’s intriguing book, Sharing Housing: A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates. We tell our audience to read this book for the real nitty gritty details and the courage to begin a homesharing quest.

Annamarie draws on an adult lifetime of experience with a diverse crew of housemates. She covers the bases in a book that is, all at the same time, clear, specific, insightful and humorous with a light touch. If you’re considering homesharing, whether it be co-owned cooperative householding (our model) or co-renting space, why re-invent the wheel?  Just kick back with these 139 pages of practical guidelines, how-to’s, and cautionary tales. By the time you come up for air or another cup of coffee, you’ll know how to avoid perilous pitfalls and have the skills you need for success, including how to advertise effectively for a compatible home sharing partner or two, how to proactively protect yourself financially and emotionally, how to make clear contracts, etc., etc. Well, read the book!

 And give a copy to each and every one of your prospective housemates. The ready-made worksheets will guide you through the various steps you’ll be taking together along the way. The Sharing Housing Guidebook is a valuable tool. At our cooperative household, Annamarie’s book sits handy on the reference shelf and in our resource list."

-Karen M. Bush, Louise S. Machinist, Jean McQuillin, Co-authors of "My House Our House: Living Far Better for Far Less in a Cooperative Household"(St. Lynn’s Press, 2013)

Download Preface and Introduction

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Do You Want to Share Housing?
  • Initial Decisions—The Householder
  • Initial Decisions—The Home Seeker
  • How Do You Want to Live?
  • Finding Each Other
  • Getting the Word Out
  • Contact and Interviews
  • Checking References
  • Pets
  • Children
  • Moving In and The First Week
  • Daily Living, Sharing the Home
  • Guidelines for Happy Households
  • Managing Conflicts
  • When It Isn’t Working